Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/112

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the mountains by the civilised aborigines, and the level plains by the Chinese. These latter are mostly from the Fukien province—an important fact in our Mission work, as it enables us to make free use of the books prepared by the older missions in Amoy. There are also a number of Hakkas, from the province of Canton, who clan together, speaking their own language and preserving their own customs. There are several thousands of Japanese now resident in the island, mostly in the larger towns. There are some sixty or seventy foreigners, European or American, resident chiefly at the old treaty ports north and south. Of these about half are missionaries, Protestant and Roman Catholic.

During the seventeenth century, from 1624 till 1662, Formosa was in the possession of the Dutch. During these years a good deal of missionary work was carried on, thousands of the natives were baptized, and schools were set up throughout the island. The Dutch authorities were fully in favour of carrying on this work; they even issued a proclamation making idolatry illegal and punishable with public whipping and banishment!

About the middle of the century the old Ming dynasty in China was overthrown by the present Tartar dynasty. One of the last adherents of the fallen dynasty, Coxinga, whose father was a Chinaman and his mother a Japanese woman, sailed from Amoy with a large fleet to Formosa. There he was joined by the resident Chinese, and after some fighting and a prolonged siege he succeeded in driving out the Dutch and taking possession of the island. In 1683 the grandson of Coxinga submitted to the Chinese Emperor, and Formosa became a part of the Empire.

Under the persecution of the Chinese rulers the Christian religion appears soon to have died out. The natives are a weaker people than the Chinese, and religion seems to take less hold of them; even at the present time, under favourable circumstances, we are troubled by their fickleness. Probably also the work of the missionaries was too much mixed up with politics; Christianity was the religion of the